Hard drive died, Scrivener disappeared, and took my book with it

I only have an early version, a ‘test’ version, from three years ago … How can I find the up-to-date files? I had to reinstall Scrivener.

Well, the question is: Where did you backup? This refers to both your complete Mac and your Scrivener projects. Did you sync your projects to another device?

I think I found it, thank God. I actually don’t understand how the whole Cloud thing works … I will try to read the manual now. Very salutary, thinking you have lost all your work.

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The first thing Scrivener asks you for is a general backup location. And it does it for a reason.

The backup location should never be the same place where you store your projects—usually the internal drive of your device. Or at least it should not be the only location. Local backups like external drives and additional updates in some cloud (backup files, not project files, at best zipped!) are strongly recommended.

Three years of work lost … that would have been terrible. I’m really happy for you you got your project back.

Until you understand the Cloud thing (iCloud? something else?), it’s safer not to use it.


Since you are on a Mac you should be using Time Machine to backup your data. That way you always have a backup that is local.


Cloud-based sync services are not a good backup. In fact not a backup. Any flaws on server or local machine replicate to each other. Poof. backups at risk.

Read about 3-2-1 backup method on the inter web.

As @Orpheus says above, use TimeMachine as a start.

This is an old post, but all the advice in it still applies:

I would just add that you shouldn’t trust your data to any service until you understand what it is doing.